Children of all ages enjoy and benefit from playing outdoors in all except the most extreme weather. Daily outdoor play is healthy and burns energy. It gives children an opportunity for a change of environment, a balance in play and routine and time for large muscle activities (gross-motor development).
Taking children outdoors daily, even in winter, can be a healthy part of their schedule, and is safe when clothing is appropriate. Layers will keep them warm, but also ensure they don’t get overheated as they play. It’s important for children to see that it’s healthy to go outside even when it’s cold.
Instead of staying indoors to ‘stay healthy’, encouraging good health practices like frequent hand washing and teaching your child to sneeze or cough into the elbow may help reduce the spread of colds and flu.
Eating a healthy diet can keep your child from catching a cold this winter season by providing their body with all of the vitamins and nutrients they need to keep their bodies healthy. Some great examples of foods and beverages that can help keep the body at its peak this winter would be: Vitamin-enriched Orange Juice, plenty of fruits and vegetables, especially the green, leafy kinds, and vitamin supplements. Foods high in protein are also good choices, like white meat chicken or turkey breast, and tons of fish and shellfish offer high amounts of protein that will ward off the colds.
Researcher have observed that children who play outside laugh more. They say that laughter is the best medicine and this may hold true for children too. Not only is laughter a stress reliever, but the physical movements involved with laughing gives the heart and lungs a workout. Laughter also stimulates the immune system to fight off colds and viruses that children are so susceptible to. Is there no better reason for playing outdoors this winter!